agree to any suggestions of Churchill or Roosevelt just then, since at this
juncture the matter was irrelevant to him. In so many words, he was
advising the Allies to do as they wished in their part of Europe and leave
him to carry out without interference whatever measures he wished in
But there was yet a third partner at this Teheran meeting, a member of
the Capitalist world, for whom this argument over the frontiers and strips
of land in Europe was of relative interest, since those lands under dispute
were so remote from Washington—it was rather a matter of principles in
this affair, principles of which his country was so proud and for which he
had campaigned throughout the world. Roosevelt had condemned the
imperialist action of Russia in her attack on Poland, her annexation of the
Baltic States and her invasion of Finland.* " The Soviet Union," he
publicly criticised, on February u, 1940, " as a matter of practical fact,
as everybody knows who has got the courage to face the fact, the practical
fact known to you and to all the world, is run by a dictatorship, a dictator-
ship as absolute as any other dictatorship in the world.35 But all Roosevelt's
criticism was levelled before the entry of United States into the Second
World W r.
It would be an underestimation to state that a politician of such calibre
as Roosevelt, representing as he did the peoples of the United States in a
way few men could claim to have represented them (as was proved by
his election to the presidency four successive times), had no vision of a
post-war plan for World Peace ... He was not prepared to discuss his
designs in public, since they would first have to be recognised and accepted
* Particularly strongly worded and worthy of all the noble traditions of th
Unite d States was the statement issued after the Russian annexation of Lithuania,
Latvia and Estonia, which was recognised as an act of aggression.
On July 23rd31940, several days after the first invasion of the Baltic States by the
U.S.S.R., Sumner Welles, acting Secretary of State, made the following
declaration in the name of the Government of the United States:
During these past few days the devious processes whereunder the political
independence and territorial integrity of the three small Baltic Republics—
Estonia^ Latvia and Lithuania—were to be deliberately annihilated by one of their
more powerful neighbours^ have been rapidly drawing to their conclusion.
From the day when the peoples of those Republics first gained their independent
and democratic form of government the people of the United States have watched
their admirable progress in self-government with deep and sympathetic interest.
The policy of this Government is universally known. The people of the United
States are opposed to predatory activities no matter whether they are carried on
by the use of forces or by the threat of force. They are likewise opposed to any
form of intervention on the part of one State3 however powerful, in the domestic
concerns of any other sovereign State3 however weals.
The principles constitute the very foundations upon which the existing relation-
ship between the 21 sovereign Republics of the New World rests.
The United States will continue to stand by these principles^ because of the
conviction of the American people that unless the doctrine in which these principles
are inherent once again governs the relations between nations^ the rule of reason^ of
justice, and of law—on other words, the basis of modern civilisation itself—cannot